GREENVILLE CO,- Thousands of people traveled to the Upstate form all over the U.S. in time for Friday’s kickoff to a weekend full of competitive soccer.
The ECNL tournament drew girl athletes from all different states, while the South Carolina State cup is set to bring out local co-ed athletes.
In all, about 220 teams are scheduled to play over the weekend.
“We’re from Jacksonville Florida,” said parent Tami Lipson at the MESA soccer complex Friday. “We’re here for the ECNL showcase this weekend.”
Parents were seen bundled up for wet weather, but with the tournaments lasting 3 days, many said they planned to venture out.
“We try when we do this to find local restaurants because we have chains at our house, so like today we’re going to be doing I think Napoli’s down the road,” said Lipson.
According to Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, more than 4,000 hotel rooms are booked for the weekend.
“There are so many more out of town teams this weekend, up to 95% of the teams are going to be from out of the area,” Jeff Poole, Sports Manager of Greenville County Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
While it’s expected that people will go out to eat and shop, the projected economic impact for the county is anywhere from $2-5 million dollars.
Those running the tournaments said the ultimate goal is to keep people coming back.
“Great people, great volunteers who know how to put on a first class event,” said Pearse Tormey. “And that’s what we want people leaving here to have… with the ‘woah, this was great, this was fantastic,’ and can’t wait to come back.”